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Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen, Anna Quindlen

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins Exciting? Yes. As exciting as the build up made it out to be? No, of course not. Is it ever? When a book is said to be "OMG!!!" good, I should know better by now than to get too excited about reading it. Relative to other books, The Hunger Games had a few more moments that kept me reading on when I might have stopped, but in no way did I get all wrapped up in the story. And that's probably because the story of a young girl fighting for her life and falling in love wasn't written with me in mind. Its appeal is not intended for a middle-aged grump. This is a YA novel. I had to keep reminding myself of that and excuse its immature voice and some of the writing...although describing inanimate objects as being "heartless" gave me a chuckle, while the somewhat common use of adverb shortcuts couldn't help but annoy. I can see why The Hunger Games has become popular with teens. It's a coming of age tale in which the revelation that the real world and the people in it are not always black and white, good and evil, dawns upon the main character as it eventually does for teens.

Word of warning. I listened to the audiobook version of this as narrated by veteran television actress Carolyn McCormick. You may have seen her on Law and Order or One Life To Live. If you ever come across a book narrated by her, avoid it like the muthafncking plague! McCormick laid on the melodrama thick, stressing the last word in what seemed like every sentence. Go back to the start of this paragraph and lay on a heavy dose of languishing drama and epic intensity to the last word in each sentence and you can see how hit or miss the technique (if you can call that technique) works and how utterly annoying it is. It made me shout "Your speech pattern sucks!" for the first time in my life. Not to beat down on the woman, but she also has a baby-talk lisp that comes out when she pronounces "s", "th" and "oo" sounds. Listening to her pronounce "juice" is pretty funny. Listening to her for nine hours is not.

NOTE: I made sure to separate my negative feelings over the audiobook narration from my feelings on the book itself and my 3-star rating reflects that.